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Tony Griffin. Photograph by John Kelly.

New podcast to explore Tony Griffin’s minor days

Former Clare hurler and writer, Tony Griffin, is the subject of a new podcast entitled GAA Minor Memories, which has just been released.
Reminiscing on his minor days in the podcast, Griffin speaks fondly about his personal highlight at that grade – beating Cork alongside his Clare teammates.
The main piece of advice he offers to younger players is to play the long game, to look at playing minor as the start of your journey rather than the end.
He emphasises that some of the biggest names across both hurling and football in the present day never made their own minor squads.
Making his senior debut for Clare in 2000 and scoring six points from play in this fixture, Tony looks back at how the relationships between teammates have developed over the years.
Tony remarks on the evolution of this relationship, from a place of being deliberately tough on newer players, to today where teammates have great camaraderie and support each other from the outset.
Tony stepped away from the Clare senior setup in 2009 when he felt that he could no longer get anything out of the game. He openly speaks about not enjoying playing at this stage in his life, and feeling as though the game and his role as a player had changed.
In his life after hurling, Griffin became involved with Dublin, Kildare, and Kerry football camps working as a performance specialist as part of their backroom team. In this role, he went on to win an All-Ireland with Kerry in 2022.
It was Griffin himself who bestowed the last words to the team before they took to the field in the second half.
While chatting with Fergal, Griffin touches on the importance of developing the mental skills to help both athletes and people to deal with adversity, build resilience and deal with pressure. He believes that coaches in sport, especially at the minor and u20 grade, can have a huge impact on this.
An accomplished writer, Griffin released the book ‘The Teenager’s Book of Life’, which was written to help teenagers navigate difficult stages of their lives. Having become a mental health support and thought leader in this space, as well as a voice for players in high stress environments, Tony believes that figures such as these are critical in the development and success of young athletes. Tony also mentions an array of managers and coaches who have helped him in this way during his playing career. Fergal and Tony also touch on the mindset of some top GAA stars in the country like David Clifford and Tony Kelly, and how critical this is for success.
Electric Ireland’s ‘GAA Minor Moments’ Podcast airs on Tuesdays throughout the Electric Ireland Camogie & GAA Minor Championships as well-known Irish stars share memories from their early sporting careers, reflecting on the defining moments from playing Minor and how it shaped them, both on and off the pitch. This season, Fergal will be joined by a host of excellent guests as they reflect on their time spent playing minor and shed light on some great personal stories. Previous guests this season include former Antrim Camogie captain Jane Adams, Head Coach of Team USA Boxing Billy Walsh, Dublin football legend Alan Brogan, and Kilkenny hurling legend Richie Hogan.

About Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a journalist, writer and podcaster based in the west of Ireland.

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